Rimada: It was a regular Thursday night at Churchill's. It was me, Tom Squelcher, and Rat making completely cacophonous fucking crazy-sounding shit, like normal. This guy out of nowhere just yelling at us, "Stop it! Stop it!" He's pulling at his hair, and we just ignore him. It's like a regular occurrence. They tend to freak out here and there about the noise.

"I said, 'If someone took a dump on the stage, you'd smell it from a mile away,'" Rat Bastard says. "That's a combination of chocolate pudding and sauerkraut."

Rat Bastard: I see this guy on the floor with a pool stick; you can't hear a fucking word he's saying. And finally he gets up on the stage. All of a sudden, he takes the pool stick and throws it on the ground. So I'm like, oh, he's going to come and choke me. But he reaches in his shorts and pulls out a gun. He walks up and points it right at me and says, "Now you're gonna stop." Unfortunately for him, I am not afraid of guns. I've had many guns pointed at me, because I grew up in New York and this area here. If it were a knife, maybe. I says, "Go ahead and pull the trigger."

Rimada: Rat acted as if he was not shitting his pants, but I saw his face. His jaw dropped totally.

Churchill's Pub owner Dave Daniels with 
his beloved double-decker bus.
Miami New Times photo archive
Churchill's Pub owner Dave Daniels with his beloved double-decker bus.
Owner Dave Daniels behind the bar.
Miami New Times photo archive
Owner Dave Daniels behind the bar.

Location Info


Churchill's Pub

5501 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33137

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Central Dade


Rat Bastard: And the guy had this weird facial change, and I'm thinking, "OK, I'm dead." He stepped back, put the gun in his pocket, like he was in a state of shock, and jumped off the stage. Then Barbara, the longtime bar manager, was like "You motherfucker!" and runs and throws him right out of the fucking place.

Lilah de Hellion, former bartender, founder of the Hellion Burlesque troupe: I was amazed Rat just kept playing; he really didn't blink. When the guy came down, he wanted another drink. He was really drunk. Barbara came out, and she said, "If you give me the gun, I'll give you a drink." I had seen that he had another gun in his belt. And I told her that. And she was like, "Oh! The other one too!"

Rimada: The guy was just frustrated. He pointed the gun at all of us, and we weren't stopping, so he just kind of gave up and walked out of Churchill's.

De Hellion: The guy ended up catering my wedding.

Rat Bastard: It turns out the guy is a supernice guy with three kids, but the music just made him nuts. He came in and apologized and bought me a beer. I was like, "Yeah, don't worry about it."

Toth: And then he was in Rat's band the next week.

Violence is often self-inflicted at Churchill's. One of the pub's most infamous moments is Chuck Loose's self-immolation stunt, which went very wrong — and it was all caught on VHS.

Loose: So yes, I was in this band called Chickenhead, and we were very, very self-destructive. One day, I made this really brilliant plan to light myself on fire during a show. I'd visited New York and seen this band called Fifth Column, a weird industrial group, and the singer burned his hair. So I was like, "That's such a great idea!" At the time, I was living in a house with a pool in the backyard. So I tried it out by dousing my shirt in lighter fluid, setting myself on fire, then jumping in the pool to put out the flames. After, I thought, "Well, OK. That wasn't so bad. I'll just jump off the Churchill's stage and roll around and it'll go out." Obviously, that was the hubris of youth... Basically, I went through the routine that I'd practiced, dousing myself in lighter fluid, lighting my T-shirt on fire, and letting it burn for a little bit. But at a certain point, I realized, "Oh, this isn't good." So I pulled my flaming shirt over my head, scorching off my eyebrows. I ended up with a few third-degree burns on my body too. So I had to go to the hospital, which was also awesome, because I had to explain why I was wearing makeup and all this silly punk-rock gear and how I managed to barbecue my chest and face. The nurse asked, "Where were you?" And I was like, "Churchill's." She just kinda looked at me and walked away. She already knew the place's reputation. But we're talking about Churchill's. And in context, lighting yourself on fire was no big deal.

Toth: I think Chuck got banned because of that, but obviously, he's played like 900 times since.

Loose: Well, when I lit myself on fire, the sound guy told me that I was banned for life. But he got fired like a week later. So my ban for life was dissolved. Then I rode a motorcycle on the stage. And this other sound guy told me that I was banned for life. But he got fired like a month later. So my ban for life was dissolved. Again.

Bowe: You have to do an awful lot at Churchill's to actually get banned for life.

Elena Davila, bar manager and former Jell-O wrestler: It's really more like a suspension. Nicky will tell them to come back in ten days.

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Pretty obvious why Rat Bastard is one of the worst bands. They don't even know a band's history but claim they do. Cindy Deats was in a band with Scott known as "India I love You" and was never known as Marilyn Manson. 

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